Fresh off his meeting last week with Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Donald Trump sought to publicly pressure his Chinese counterpart into taking a tougher stance on North Korea.
“I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!” Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning. “North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.”
Over the weekend, the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its accompanying battle group were directed to sail to waters off the coast of the Korean peninsula, widely considered a response to North Korea’s outburst of saber-rattling, most recently with a missile launch earlier this month.
In response to the Carl Vinson’s deployment off its shores, a spokesman for North Korea’s foreign ministry said "we will hold the U.S. wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions” and added that “this goes to prove that the U.S. reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase of its scenario.”
U.S. presidents have long sought to pressure China, North Korea’s chief patron, into exerting more pressure on the repressive communist state. Unmoved by foreign influence, North Korea has continued work on the creation of a nuclear weapon and a ballistic missile with which to deliver it despite a heavy package of sanctions that have further crippled an already feeble economy.